Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police
Ahhhhhh the Detectives, where do we begin. Hollywood has shown Detective's to be more like Harry Callahan aka Dirty Harry, then they are in real life. The reality of it is Detectives spend more time doing boring paper passing then anything else. For the five minutes of Rock & Roll action we see on T.V. or on the movie screen, they spend endless hours doing paper work conducting survalances and interviews. Regardless, The Detective is a person who works the street in a much different way then a uniformed officer. They sometimes wear blue jeans and t-shirts, shorts and tank tops or maybe a suit and tie.
The Detectives of Washington D.C. have been around for many years. With the help of several current and past members of the M.P.D. I will place some information on this page for your viewing. Please feel free to send me any additional information and photos to add to this site. One thing I have learned about the M.P.D. is that things always change as far as how the department is structured. So please keep in mind that the set up of the Detectives may have been one way in 1968, another in 1972 and yet another in 1981.
Washington D.C. Detectives of Today
BlackSheep Productions 2009
For a small town Policeman like myself the Detective Division of the M.P.D. can seem like Einsteins crossword puzzle. Then to top it off, it is always changing. A new Chief comes in and want's to try things definitely. SO I need to rely on what I can find out from members currently serving on the M.P.D. and those who served in the past. I was sent the following information from an officer who retired a short time ago.
This is a diagram of the old system prior to Technicians or Master Patrol Officers. A Master patrol Officer and Detective Grade One were equivalent to one another. The only others who received additional pay were the Motorcycle and K-9 Officers.
PRIVATE, (later became an Officer)
Assistant Chief of Police (Executive Officer or X.O.
****Chief of Police**** Up to Jerry Wilson, all Chief's of Detective had gone on to become Chief of Police. It was Wilson who abolished the two tier system.
(Except for undercover officers, everyone starts out in uniform. An undercover officer normally worked for one or two years before going to the training academy. If they lasted that long they normally remained in plain clothes and went on to become actually paid Detectives.
Plainclothes w/o additional compensation
Plainclothes with additional compensation
Detective (both corporal and detective were based on civil service exams)
Detective Chief (AKA Chief of Detectives)
The newer system has just a few additions
I am looking for some help with the information on Detectives in the M.P.D. Not anything that would breach security but basic history ect. Maybe just how Detectives are broke up in the M.P.D. any additional you can send me would be very much welcome - it's your history..
Master Patrol Officer
then up to
Everyone starts out as an Officer or more commonly known as:
Detective Grade Two
Detective Grade One, being the highest
I have made it a point to keep" in and out of house" politics out of this web site. I am not dong this to take sides or to look for considerations. I am doing it for the historical aspect and enjoy doing it. Having said that there will be sections that have political stories or incidents noted within this site. I add them because I feel it is interesting or historically relevant. Below is a story I received from a retired M.P.D. Officer. Another thing I ask you to consider is I work on a department with only three, (3) Detectives. There is no test given it's who ever the Chief want's there so this is all strange to me. So it is out of confusion I asked about the set up of the Detectives on the M.P.D., this was some of the response I received...
So, there was a real distinction between Patrolman or Officer and Detective. In the "before" time, also when someone passed the test for Detective, they went to Detective, then Detective Sergeant, Detective Lieutenant, Detective Captain, and Chief of Detectives. It was almost impossible to get into those ranks after Detective Sergeant. This changed, again about 1970 or 1971 when the powers to be determined, " Like the Army", any manager could manage any division, because they didn't actually do any of the work.
ONE PROBLEM: So , here's a true story (I Chuck Gallagher have changed any name included in this story), Detective Callahan, Homicide Division and one of the very best Homicide Detectives, made Sergeant, and with the new policy, some brain surgeon had him transferred to Traffic Division after promotion. A Traffic Division Officer "X" make Sergeant, and with simultaneously transferred to Homicide Division, assigned to midnights, because Sergeants on manage. The problem - at that time S.O.P. was that two Detectives were on duty at Homicide and two at Sex Squad on midnights. Homicide and Sex Squad Detectives received the same advanced training because of the similar evidence requirements for investigation, for sometimes crossover crime, and because under D.C. law, only a Homicide Detective could investigate a homicide in D.C. ( my H.R. form showed I was assigned to Homicide, even though I was assigned to Sex Squad - I was officially assigned to Homicide) One homicide on midnight, both Homicide Detectives respond; two homicides on midnight, they split and grab a precinct Detective to help; the third one happens, and the Homicide Sergeant responds and handles the third case - normally, but they had a new formally, "TRAFFIC" homicide Sergeant who only knew how to write a ticket if the perpetrator sped away from the scene. So, they normally would have called the Sex Squad detectives, who were the routine back-up on a homicide on midnight - ONE PROBLEM; same protocol for Sex Squad detectives on splitting the multiple crimes occurring, they had three going, so they couldn't respond. The next morning, the new Traffic Division Sergeant Callahan was immediately transferred back to homicide, and new Homicide Detective X was transferred back to Traffic Division - paperwork to follow..
Another distinction was that the Detective rank was separate and distinct from Plainclothesman with compensation. The difference was that the Detective actually investigated and conducted follow-up distinctions on crimes. Plainclothesmen performed as non-uniformed patrol officers. I have been both. And yes, I was a Plainclothesman with Compensation at S.O.D, and have the paperwork, so there were S.O.D. officers who were plainclothesman with compensation at S.O.D. but that's another argument. Also several other officers had the rank and money for Plainclothesman.
D.C. Metropolitan Detectives Neil Trugman (R) and Greg Peterson (L) are interviewing a suspect after a handgun was found on him. These two D.C. Detectives hold the Department record for being partners with 24 years together, life on the streets.....
Unknown Detectives and Patrolman review notes in a 1949 investigation. A fundamental element in every case is teamwork.
40 years later Detectives at work...
Some things will never change in this job.....
Information and pictures on this subject is always appreciated
UPDATED INFORMATION FROM A MEMBER OF THE MPDC:
Homicide and Sex are still somewhat in the same specialized section of CID but they do not back each other up. In Homicide there are 6 squads and 6 to 8 detectives in each squad. Two squads work the same tour of duty. In the true story mentioned about midnights the 1st squad would handle the 1st midnight that came out and the second squad would handle the 2nd homicide and if a third homicide happened on midnights, the 1st squad would handle that one as well. With the experience of 6 to 8 detectives in a squad, the sergeant for the squad does not have to be a former homicide detective to be effective. It is a bonus but not necessarily a problem like the story made it appear. detectives section. Your information regards a true story about sex crimes/homicide and midnight staffing. I am sure that the story is true but even though It was submitted from a retired member it makes it appear that it is the current working structure. It isn't. Homicide and Sex are still somewhat in the same specialized section of CID but they do not back each other up. In Homicide there are 6 squads and 6 to 8 detectives in each squad. Two squads work the same tour of duty. In the true story mentioned about midnights the 1st squad would handle the 1st midnight that came out and the second squad would handle the 2nd homicide and if a third homicide happened on midnights, the 1st squad would handle that one as well. With the experience of 6 to 8 detectives in a squad, the sergeant for the squad does not have to be a former homicide detective to be effective. It is a bonus but not necessarily a problem .
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